The Autobiography (<i>Jī ban-carit</i>) of Raj Krishna

Jeanne Openshaw

in Writing the Self

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780198062479
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080489 | DOI:
The Autobiography (Jī ban-carit) of Raj Krishna

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This chapter presents the English translation of a Bengali verse autobiography of Raj Krishna, the Jīban-carit (JC). Each verse of the translation is followed by a commentary informed by the author's own fieldwork with followers of Raj and other Bauls, as well as her familiarity with Raj's songs and theoretical writings, all part of the same manuscript. It suggest that Raj's lack of enthusiasm for the autobiographical project can be attributed to his embracing of the path of bartaman after meeting Rajesvar, which channelled his creative energies into his other writings, especially his songs, this genre being the dominant Bartaman-panthi expressive mode. It is also possible that the loss of interest in writing the autobiography relates to a different notion of the ‘I’ which developed through his encounter with Rajesvar on the path of bartaman.

Keywords: Raj Krishna; Jīban-carit; Bengali verse autobiography; English translation; Rajesvar; Bartaman; Bartaman-panthi

Chapter.  25669 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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